Cell Phone Unlocking FAQ
Table of Contents:
What is cell phone unlocking?
What's the difference between a SIM unlock code, Subsidy unlock code and an unlock code?
What is a SIM card?
Can my cell phone be unlocked?
How do I know if my cell phone is already unlocked?
If I buy an unlock code, is it guaranteed to work?
What are the advantages to unlocking my cell phone?
Do I need any technical knowledge or skills to unlock my cell phone?
Will my current network carrier know if I unlocked my phone?
Will my cell phone relock if I reset it to factory settings?
Can unlocking my phone damage it?
Will the functions on my phone still work after I unlock it?
How can I eliminate roaming fees by using an unlocked cell phone?
Which networks can I use my unlocked mobile with?
How do I know if my BlackBerry is Hard-Locked?
Wireless network carriers typically put a SIM restriction on your cell phone which prevents users from switching networks with their favorite phones. Cell phone unlocking removes the SIM lock attached to your phone and allows you to use your favorite cell phone or smart phone on your favorite networks. Cell phone unlocking also allows users to use international SIM cards when traveling, which reduces roaming charges to zero. Smart travelers use an unlocked cell phone, combined with an international prepaid SIM card, allowing them to virtually eliminate roaming fees.
There is absolutely no difference between a SIM unlock code, Subsidy unlock code and a plain old unlock code. They are unique numeric codes between 8 - 16 digits which are entered into your cell phone to remove the carrier restriction.
A SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card stores unique information on a 15 mm x 12 mm x 0.76mm chip. It will store information such as your phone number, the network carrier the SIM belongs to and can have advanced features such as storing contacts. SIM cards are used on all GSM networks and some HSPA networks such as Telus or Bell Mobility in Canada. Think of a SIM card as your cell phone's passport.
||If your cell phone has a SIM card slot, it can be unlocked. You can find your SIM card slot by removing the battery of your phone and looking for something similar to the image on your left. Also, if it is listed on our website, we have tested and unlocked this device before.
There are a couple ways to know if your cell phone is unlocked. The simplest way is to insert an activated unaccepted SIM card into your phone and to see if it picks up a signal. Some phones have built in methods to see if the phone is unlocked. For example, you can check to see if a BlackBerry is unlocked by navigating through some options. If you are a BlackBerry user, please read through our short entry on how to know if my BlackBerry is unlocked.
All of our unlock codes are guaranteed to work as long the phone is not hard locked
or has already been unlocked
. If our unlock code does not work for any other reason, our 100% satisfaction guarantee will cover you. Please read through our terms and conditions
on our 100% guarantee and refund policy.
There are too many advantages to discuss in one page. We've summarized the three best advantages to unlocking your cell phone.
For detailed information, please read our entry in response to a forum member's question.
1.) You will be able to use your favorite cell phone without restriction on any GSM network carrier of your choice.
2.) You will no longer have to pay roaming fees by using your unlocked phone with an international prepaid SIM card when traveling.
3.) An unlocked cell phone retains a higher monetary value when reselling it than one that is locked to a single network carrier. After all, not everyone uses the same wireless network.
Absolutely not! When our unlock codes are distributed to our customers, we provide detailed written unlocking instructions for all codes as well as video tutorials for others. It does not require you to take apart the phone, but simply navigate through some menus and enter your unlock code when prompted. The unlock codes we provide are manufacturer codes, which means that the manufacturers have built in methods to enter the codes.
Although we cannot confirm this with certainty, they most likely do not know if your phone has been unlocked. Regardless, it would not be an issue as you have purchased the phone, which makes you the owner of the cell phone. You are free to use your unlocked cell phone however you please.
It is impossible to 'relock' a phone. Once a phone is unlocked, it cannot be relocked whether it be intentional or accidental.
Unlocking a cell phone cannot damage the phone itself. Since they are manufacturer made codes, with manufacturer made instructions, it's almost as if they were meant to be unlocked.
Yes. For 99% of phones, you will still be able to use your regular SMS, MMS and any other features the phone allows. For example, a BlackBerry will still retain the features of Internet service, e-mails, and BlackBerry Messenger. The one exception is for Sidekicks which tend to lose SMS and MMS capabilities.
An unlocked cell phone combined with a prepaid international SIM card can and will eliminate your roaming fees guaranteed. You can purchase an international SIM card from any local mobile network store in your country of travel. Cellfservices has created a free tool to calculate how much you can save, how you can save and where to get everything you need before you travel. Try out our Roam Free Calculator absolutely FREE.
An unlocked cell phone cannot necessarily be used on all worldwide networks. Most networks operate on GSM frequencies of 900 MHz or 1800 MHz. You will have to research the specifications of your phone to see if they are compatible with the GSM network you wish to use. If one of the GSM frequencies match, you should have no problems. Our Roam Free Calculator
provides information on worldwide GSM frequencies from over 120 travel destinations.
It is very important to check if your BlackBerry is Hard Locked prior to purchasing your unlock code. Hard locked means that someone has attempted too many incorrect unlock codes into your phone. If your BlackBerry is hard locked, no code will work on your BlackBerry device. For hard locked devices, we will not be able to provide a refund as it is impossible for us to know whether or not a BlackBerry device is hard locked without having the device physically in our hands. Full details about our refund policies can be found under our terms and conditions
. To check if your BlackBerry is hard locked
, please view our article from our Blog which will guide you through the process or contact support
if you have any questions regarding this.